This afternoon we received confirmation that XFX, a division of PINE Technologies, will not be releasing any GeForce GTX 400 series graphics cards to the market when the cards become public next month. XFX was not listed as a launch partner for Fermi and did not issue a press release about the upcoming cards, which might come as a shock to many of our readers as they are one of the largest NVIDIA add-in board (AIB) partners in the world! XFX said that the decision not to carry this series of GF100 graphics card was their decision and that they will still be carrying NVIDIA products. It looks like XFX thinks that the Radeon HD 5000 series of graphics card is the right card for the high-end market. From our conversation with XFX they mentioned that they have “yet to see whether the fermented launch will reach an inglorious anti-climax” and that “they want to “Ferm up to who really has the big Guns”. It turns out they do have something special that they have been working on. It turns out that XFX and AMD have partnered together and have designed a limited edition run of Radeon HD 5970 graphics cards with not 2GB, but 4GB of on-board memory.
The XFX Radeon HD 5970 4GB Black Edition video card will be a limited edition card with an estimated hundreds of graphics cards being made. XFX expects to begin selling the cards in about a month for roughly $100 more than a standard Radeon HD 5970, which is $699 to $750 if you can find them. This would make the XFX Radeon HD 5970 4GB Black Edition to be around $799 to $850 based on our assumptions.
XFX told us that this card will have six mini-DisplayPort connectors, which makes it different than any other Radeon HD 5970 4GB design that will be coming out as it will support Eyefinity 6.
The XFX Radeon HD 5970 4GB Black Edition appears to be longer than the standard ATI Radeon HD 5970, which might be an issue for some consumers. The reference design is over a foot long as it measures in at 12.125″ in length. With twice the frame buffer it looks like the XFX Radeon HD 5970 4GB is going to be even longer. XFX also stated that they will hand pick each of these cards and that overclockers are going to love them.
XFX also informed Legit Reviews that they have designed a special shipping crate that is the plastic gun that is seen in the image above. When you get one of these limited edition graphics cards it will come in the spiffy little carrying case that looks like an FNH P90 at first glance.
The last picture that XFX sent us of the Radeon HD 5970 4GB card is this one of the dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors, which was expected as this cards dual GPUs and 4GB of memory will need some juice, but as we saw in our GeForce GTX 480 review a dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 uses less power than a single-GPU GeForce GTX 480 video card.
To confirm XFX’s story we contacted several sources inside AMD and were told that this card goes by the code name Petunia and will not only be carried by XFX, but by other vendors as well. This makes sense as ASUS recently unveiled the ARES, which is basically the same thing with a different cooler back at CeBIT 2010 at the start of this month.
XFX unloaded a bomb this afternoon by announcing they were going to skip launching any GeForce GTX 470/480 graphics cards with the Fermi architecture and that they were going to be releasing a high-end Radeon HD 5970 that is unlike anything else on the market. It looks like things just got a little more interesting in the battle for high-end gaming graphics cards!